Krista Henry, Staff Reporter
Using music to heal the people, musicians in the Trench Town community have come together to host their first annual 'Trench Town Rock' festival.
The festival was hosted on Wednesday in Trench Town and saw a day's worth of events, starting with activities for children, including workshops. The day ended with a stageshow.
'Trench Town Rock' was organised by various music production houses in the community. It cost nothing to attend.
Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner on Wednesday while at the festival, singer and a Manifesto Jamaica ambassador, Janine 'Jah 9' Cunningham, was excited that done that will be done in the future.
According to Jah 9, Trench Town Rock was organised and conceptualised by production houses from the community such as Triple L Music, I-Manu-Manu Production and Trench Town International Music.
"They contacted me like last week and I got Manifesto Jamaica involved in the project as well, to help put on the huge stage show so that the Trench Town massive can come out and enjoy themselves," said Jah 9.
The effort came from the entire community as its members pulled together to make all the arrangements to prepare the space.
"We cleared a space on 5th-6th Street that was like a big open land that was full of garbage. It took us six days to clear it so that they could have this whole-day festival and its been really great," Jah 9 told The Gleaner.
"We've been building a positive energy all day. The children are on holidays so they are out, and you know in this neighbourhood persons can be really aggressive so its good for them to learn new things."
The free stage show featured a number of acts from the community, who spent the week preparing for the event, as well as acts such as the 'Inna De Yard' crew, Sangie Davis, Roots Uprising Band, Raging Fyah Band, Junior Reid, Jah 9 herself and many others.
"Trench Town has such a history of music so it's really good to use music to accomplish healing the people and bringing together the community," explained Jah 9.
Trench Town has been prolific for nourishing some of the most talented artistes to come out of Jamaica and is often referred to as the birthplace of rocksteady and reggae music. The community is probably most well known as the home of international hitmaker and reggae legend Bob Marley, as well as Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
The Trench Town Rock team hope to see the festival develop to include persons beyond the walls of the community.
"We really spent six days doing this project and we've got a lot of support. I know if we had more time we could have got support from persons outside of the community and get people involved. It's definitely something we plan to put on every year. Next year we plan to get more organised and invite persons like the Red Cross, the Cancer Society down here to educate people and get more of a musical strength. If you see what we've done already, it's really inspiring," said Jah 9.
An example of that inspiration comes from the fact that the residents of Trench Town want the now-clean area, between 5th and 6th street, to be made into a park.